Defrag: Shortcuts, Multimonitor setup, USB Wifi Extender

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Microsoft tech troubleshooter extraordinaire Gov Maharaj and I help walk you through troubleshooting solutions to your tech support problems. If you have a problem you want to send us, you can use the Problem Step Recorder in Windows 7 (see this for details on how) and send us the zip file to We will also be checking comments for problems, but the email address will let us contact you if needed.

[00:20] -  Comments from previous show. [link]
[02:41] -  What's the hotkey to restore minimized windows.
[03:24] -  How to make multimonitors act like a single monitor. [link]
[08:45] -  How to make a thumbdrive use the same drive letter across multiple machines.
[11:19] -  Start+app name launches wrong thing, how to fix.
[12:47] -  Error in Media Center using Silicon Dust card with 5.1 sound.
[15:55] -  Icons rearrange when changing external monitors, can this be prevented?
[17:14] -  IT policy sleeps PC when copying large files at night?
[18:48] -  Card reader on remote PC isn't being detected when RDP.
[20:30] -  What's the 'right' directory to write temp data to?
[24:11] -  Why can't I begin a folder name with a period+name? [link]
[26:48] -  Can I use a product key to upgrade Win7 Starter to Ultimate on a netbook? [link]
[27:45] -  Can we configure WiFi so it will only connect to corp network, no hotspot connectivity.
[28:35] -  Pick of the Week: - making a USB WiFi extender.




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The Discussion

  • User profile image

    The reverse of Windows-M (minimize all) is actually Windows-Shift-M.  It restores the windows minimized via Windows-M (and nothing else).

  • User profile image

    [08:45] -  How to make a thumbdrive use the same drive letter across multiple machines.

    Use this tool on all PCs and next time you connect the thumbdrive it uses the configured letter:

    For the Icon Issue I use this tool:

    to save my desktop icons and after things like updating the graphic card drivers I can restore my icons to the old positions.

    For the prevent sleep issue, I run this tool while I do some operations like DVD burning, video encoding or downloading things over night.:

  • User profile image

    [02:41] -  What's the hotkey to restore minimized windows.

    WIN+D is a toggle for "show/hide desktop" whereas WIN+M is "minimize all windows" and WIN+SHIFT+M is "undo minimize all windows". It is documented at Microsoft, somewhere, although I cannot remember where, was either in Windows 2000 or Windows XP WIN+D was introduced, and where I remember reading the description.

    Why anyone would want so use WIN+M / WIN+SHIFT+M, as opposed to toggling with WIN+D is beyond me Smiley

    <edit>windev was faster than me Smiley</edit>

    [15:55] -  Icons rearrange when changing external monitors, can this be prevented?

    I don't know if a solution like this already exists. The problem it could be solved if Windows tracked monitor configurations and each configurations windows and icon positions.

  • User profile image

    I'm guessing the .filename issue came up because the user made a copy of the .minecraft folder and was trying to rename it back.  I found that I was able to do this from the command line with the ren command.

  • User profile image

    The frustrating thing about Win+M and Win+D is that they (very) often muck up the window order when bringing them back up. Why is that so hard to get right?

  • User profile image

    @briped - I'm in the habit of doing Win-M and Win-L when I go home for the night --- I use M instead of D as it is on the same side of the keyboard (as L).

    The Windows Help has a good list of shortcuts under a topic called "Keyboard shortcuts".

    Windows logo key keyboard shortcuts
    Remote Desktop Connection keyboard shortcuts

    Of note, the RDP shortcut section is useful for the equivalent keystoke for commands that always go to the host (eg. Ctrl-Alt-Del vs. Ctrl-Alt-End).

  • User profile image

    @windev:I'm curious. Why minimize all windows if you're locking the screen anyway? Just habit?

  • User profile image

    @briped: Yeah, just habit.  It stems from my habitual minimizing of maximized applications.

    My work means that I build up a lot of windows while doing research while debugging (I'm an Sr. Escalation Engineer for Windows) - IE windows, multiple dumps, RDP, VS, the case system, case notes, etc..  I leave most of the windows minimized (resetting my state with Win-M regularily). I throw windows of interest to one of my 4 monitors (maximized) - using the Aero-Dock extensively.  When I finish my current task (support case), I close the apps via the task bar (this saves me moving the mouse over 6000+ pixels of width) - I run the task bar with no grouping, have small icons and the bar is 2 rows high (mainly so I see the date and time always though).

  • User profile image

    Zed is the way most of the world says it. Zee is an American fabrication. Smiley

  • User profile image
    Ronnie Swafford

    The display port adapters work fine as long as they are active adapters. I'm running 5 monitors with my Dell Precision M laptop using adapters.

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